This post originally appeared on May 14, 2019, in “Add to Cart” — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
Last week’s Aperol spritz controversy was a classic Twitter maelstrom: An opinion piece with a carefully calibrated headline riled everyone up, birthed even more strong opinions, and provided a buzzy hook for bars to capitalize on — all over an issue with delightfully low stakes. (The predictability of the internet can be comforting sometimes.)
But the “take” at the center of the whole thing — Aperol isn’t the best aperitif for making a spritz — isn’t an entirely bad one. I do think Aperol spritzes are tasty, if you don’t overdo the ice; but so are spritzes made with Contratto Bitter and Cappelletti, as writer Rebekah Peppler notes. (I love the latter so much that it just happened to find its way into the 2018 Eater Gift Guide.) Aperitivo Select is also excellent, as is Muz, a funky vermouth I only know about because a coworker recently ordered it off a bar menu, where it was buried in the vermouth list, and gave me a taste.
The lesson here being: Try all the aperitifs! Try the digestifs, too! And definitely the vermouths. There’s a lot of stuff out there, hidden deep in the menu sections you may typically overlook, and lots of it tastes great in a glass of sparkling wine.
Things to buy
- I keep getting compliments on my MáLà Project sneakers — delicate white low-tops made in collaboration with sneaker brand Feiyue and Hickies (those plastic no-lace laces). The shoes (which, full disclosure, I got to test as a free pre-launch sample) look good with just about everything; just be warned, they run a little small and kinda tight.
- For a restaurant sneaker collab that’s more aggressively Fashion, the new Dominique Ansel x Koio sneakers — “inspired by the core ingredients in a classic French croissant: flour, sugar, eggs, and butter” — wouldn’t look out of place on a Balenciaga runway.
- If you’re in the market for new knives but don’t care to spring for anything too pricey or fancy, these colorful Cuisinart knives are on super sale.
- Bar stools often go overlooked, but if you’re looking to give your kitchen or dining situation a facelift, these “midcentury” bar stools are a good choice.
Things to know
- Ordering whole cakes online hadn’t really occurred to me until last week, when I mentioned A Chef’s Life star Vivian Howard’s new online bakery in this newsletter, but apparently there are countless bakeries across the U.S. that excel at mail-order cakes. Why even bake at home?
- If you’re in Philly this weekend, beloved falafel spot Goldie is having a “grocery sale,” with all its food products — jars of amba, harissa, schug, tehina ketchup, and shawarma spice — 20 percent off. No discounts on tehina shakes, unfortunately.
- I only just learned about the existence of Which?, a British shopping publication a la Consumer Reports but with way, way better photography. I would order any of these vintage covers as framed posters.
- Further proof we live in a nightmare of our own making: “Americans Have So Many Subscriptions They Need Apps to Track and Cancel Them.”
- Happy Häagen-Dazs Free Cone Day, y’all.